This article will give you an overview of practical and cost-effective culture and management practices for production of durian. Durian varieties available at our farm include Arancillo, Chanee, Monthong, and UP Gold.
For backyard planting, dig a hole wide and deep enough to contain the ball of soil that goes with the planting material. Set aside the top soil to be used to re-fill the hole after planting or transplanting. Mix 2 parts of LAS-1 Activated Pure Organic Fertilizer with 1 part of top soil. Place 3 kilos mixture at the hole.
Carefully remove the plant from its container and set it in the hole. Fill the extra spaces with the LAS-1 Activated Pure Organic Fertilizer and top soil mixture. Replace dead or missing hills one week after planting. Plant young plants at their dormant stage. Planting during the rainy season is recommended.
Legumes can be used as intercrop to control weed and to improve soil fertility levels. Other cash crops include corn, papaya, calamansi, and pineapple and other seasonal crops.
Hand pull the weeds especially when the plant is still small and the weeds are too close to the plant.
Water the trees frequently especially during the first two dry seasons to help develop the root system. For mature trees, water frequently especially when flowering or fruiting. Irrigation can be complemented with mulching, good vegetation, or by shallow cultivation.
Place 4 to 6 inch mulching using rice hull or dried grass at a distance of 6 inches from the trunk spreading towards the edge of the crown. This will help in restricting weed growth, maintaining relatively low temperature, and in keeping the soil moist even during the dry season.
Fertilization can be done at any time – regardless of the season. We recommend re-fertilization every 6 months at 5 kilos of LAS-1 Activated Pure Organic Fertilizer per tree. Make sure that all 5 kilos of fertilizer is well distributed around the tree.
Smudging. Smokey fire is built below the tree canopy and smoke is allowed to pass through the foliage. This is done
continuously for several days but is discontinued when no flower appears within two weeks. This is repeated one to two months later.
Pruning is done after harvesting to prepare the trees for the next fruiting season. This process aids in improving the quality of fruits, achieve the desired size and shape of the crown, and remove unwanted branches.
HARVESTING AND HANDLING
Durian trees when properly maintained can bear fruit as early as 5 years old. Characteristics of mature fruit are change in the color of the pericarp to yellowish green or brown, dull and hollow sound when tapped, strong aroma, very pliable spine, and very distinct suture. Fruits are either picked by hand (leaving 2-3 cm stem). Durian fruits when mature and ripe fall from trees at night.
GRADING AND STORING
Immature, undersized, and damaged fruits are sorted from clean fruits. Fruits are then graded as to the variety, size, weight, or diameter. The fruits are packed in bamboo baskets or crates lined with newspapers for protection during transport. Hand picked fruits have 5 to 7 days shelf-life while fallen fruits has 2 to 3 days.
DISCLAIMER: This article was written for those who need basic information on durian culture and management. This should not be considered as the most informative resource. Additional reading is highly recommended.